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Developing your skills in reading and understanding research

As a registered practitioner, making judgements based on evidence is an important part of daily practice. It is important to assemble sufficient evidence to provide an accurate picture of the available research. This unit will help you integrate your research skills into everyday practice.

Making Judgements

It is important that you know where to find evidence that is applicable to your work setting to base your judgements on. On these web sites you will undoubtedly find information of particular relevance to your current practice so it will be useful for you to spend some time exploring them. Add them to the favourites on your computer or record them in another way that will be useful to you.

NHS National Library for Health. The Evidence page of this site contains information on the applicability of NICE Guidance in Scotland. 

Understanding the jargon used in research articles

The best way of learning what the various research terms mean is by seeing them used in context.

When reading some to the articles that you will review as part of this module, you should make sure that you have access to a glossary. This can be online e.g. from the Research Mindedness in Social Work and Social Care website.

Alternatively, you can use a search engine to locate a glossary or research guide that you like. Add this to the favourites on your computer or record it in another way that will be useful to you. You will also find a glossary at the end of most research textbooks e.g. Griffiths (2010).

Reading Activity

Read at least two of these references which can be accessed via The Knowledge Network

An Athens password is required for access, if you do not have this email:

Athens link:

  • Translating knowledge to practice: An occupational therapy perspective. Metzler, M., Metz, Gerlinde,  A. (2010) Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 57 (6): 373-9
  • Multi-institutional study of barriers to research utilisation and evidence-based practice among hospital nurses. Brown, CE et al (2010) Journal of Clinical Nursing. 19:1944-51
  • Using evidence-based practice to address gaps in nursing knowledge. Tagney J; Haines C. (2009) British Journal of Nursing .13; 18 (8): 484-9
  • Implementing evidence-based practice: a model for change. Plastow NA (2006). International Journal of Therapy & Rehabilitation. 13 (10): 464-9
  • Role of research in occupational therapy clinical practice: Applying action learning and action research in pursuit of evidence-based practice. (2010).Du Toit, S;Wilkinson ,A.; Adam,K. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal,   57 (5): 318-30

Practice Based Activity

You should now have reviewed the evidence or research into an aspect of your work and the care provided in your work setting. Record what you have found and your reflections on this for your portfolio. Discuss this with your mentor, supervisor or a colleague.